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    Thread: 2010 Golf TDI: 2 Month Review, by RogueTDI

    1. Member RogueTDI's Avatar
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      2010 Golf TDI 4DR MT6 SB 1989 AW11 MR2 4AGE 150whp 2250lbs
      06-17-2010 06:29 PM #1


      Executive Summary: Save a few very minor gripes, this car is absolutely brilliant, both in its class and beyond, offering incredible value, and a blend of performance, quality, fun and economy that cannot be touched by much of anything on the US market today.

      First off, I consider it presumptuous that anyone would care to hear my thoughts or opinions on this vehicle. There are plenty of reviews out there, and I am not attempting to best their exhaustiveness or accuracy. I could go into an excruciating amount of detail about nearly every aspect of the vehicle, but such an extensive review takes a lot of editorial work. What I will offer is my opinion as an experienced mechanical engineer who is into cars, and will try to relay facts relevant to anyone interested in this vehicle, and to common questions and issues. It might be a bit biased, being the diesel lover I am, but I am happy to give objective comparisons/critiques and answer questions if you ask. I will try to avoid subjective commentary, outside of the dedicated section. This will be a review of the car as a whole, both generally and specific to TDI tech.

      My background as a buyer:

      I wasn't really planning on getting a Golf TDI. Coming from original ownership of a heavily sport-modified, lowered(love those Bilstein Sports) and chipped 1998 MkIII Jetta TDI (now with 200kmi on it), I have for years had my sights set on sports sedan from Audi or BMW with a 3.0L turbodiesel power plant. I have intimate experience with a 2001 325i. I wanted power and handling performance. When I heard of the Golf TDI being offered, I figured it was not quite enough, too little power being the biggest complaint. Yet I knew the Golf was a possibility.

      Then I saw promotional pictures of a Shark Blue 4 door, and rather quickly started to fawn over it.

      I'm passionate about cars, and engineering. I can appreciate cars of all sorts. I know virtually all the features and chassis aspects, little amenities and techno gadgets that are available on higher end vehicles, and I knew what I would be missing (in principle at least) and what I ultimately cared about. So, if I seem easily impressed, just keep this in mind. In this running, I was after something specific - a sporting and refined diesel daily driver - and that narrowed things down a lot. In the end, Audi offered very little diesel to choose from, and BMW was close but not close enough with their deal-breaking slushbox in the 335d. I should note also I strongly considered the Jetta Sportwagen TDI, but decided the MkVI improvements and features, sport suspension, lower weight, and various other differences of the Golf were too appealing to pass up.

      I test drove several vehicles - an X535D (couldnt find a 335D to test drive, and really only wanted to experience the engine), GTI, and several variations of 2.0 CR TDI, including Jetta TDI, Jetta Sportwagen TDI, and a few Golf TDIs with DSG and manual. Didnt even bother cross shopping against Audi A3 TDI - I had discounted it on paper. I spent months reading reviews, regularly visiting dealerships, attending car shows (great cut-away displays of the 2.0CR TDI engine), and examining every detail of the design of the Jetta and Golf. I did take a look at certain competitors, like Mazda 3 and Honda Insight (the latter of which I test drove for fun).

      After 12 years, and with my Jetta showing its age, I was desperately ready for something new, and the more I looked at the Golf, the more I knew it was my next car. I ordered her in mid-January 2010 and took delivery in mid-April, and have over 7000 miles on her now.

      She is 4 door, MT6, all options but Nav and sunroof, in Shark Blue. I also got the mat kit with rubber mats, but want the carpeted "Golf" mats.

      My Jetta would end up blowing a piston before my Golf arrived no less, so the timing was remarkable and fortuitous.

      I have to thank the guys at Ontario VW. They were professional, friendly, frank and a pleasure to deal with, and this was after visiting a few other dealerships. They were also very accommodating to my rather “high maintenance” requests. Specifically, the sales manager Tim Franklin, head sales rep Dante, and especially my salesperson Joaquin. Most especially, I was supported from the get go with my interest in placing an order, and I got very lucky in being able to secure a Golf TDI allocation, thanks very much to Tim and the team at Ontario VW.

      Subjective impressions / Exterior Design / Looks:

      I am absolutely loving this car! And, I'm in love with this car!! She is a blast to drive, holds corners fantastically and with confidence, is built solid, has really comfortable seats, a great sound system, incredible cargo and people moving versatility, awesome mileage, great technology, and I adore the looks! I'm also glad to have the MkVI features and improvements (not found in the 2010 Jettas). Being a German car and VW enthusiast, I love that my Golf was built in Wolfsburg.

      She is gorgeous to look at, and an awesome blend of civility, functionality, graceful elegance and understated aggressiveness. I am so glad to have gone with the Shark Blue despite some significant hesitation. She's become a photographic subject like no other to me, and I've developed a complex about constantly admiring her from almost every angle. The look embodies so much of what I love about VW and about German-engineered automobiles. The technical details of the exterior design say a lot about the engineering also – brake cooling ducting, aero turbulators under the rear of the car, recessed windshield wipers, integrated roof spoiler; clean, functional and minimalist, all indicative of solid, purposeful engineering.

      Various specific features I love include: interior lighting scheme, with adjustable foot well lights. Xenon lights with AFS. Cornering lights (fog lights turn on when turning tight or indicator is on at a stop). The little details of the wiper system operation. The sound system flexibility and sound quality. The paint color. Sunglass holder. Steering wheel controls. Integral cargo net under the rear boot cover/tray. Frankly, I could go on - I really do love virtually everything about this car.

      GENERAL:

      Interior Design & Driving Experience


      Clean, simple, functional, sharp, quality materials, fit, finish and feel. Nothing new here – you've heard it before, just go sit in one for yourself. There is very little lacking. Driver information and control design and placement is excellent of course. Center console lacks storage space (although I like the cup holders and put them to good use), but I find the door pockets and glove box decent in total volume, and I intend to add under-seat drawers and possibly a driver's knee cubby. Lots of nice touches in lighting, accoutrements, instrument layout and functionality.

      Overall interior quality is of course very high grade in virtually every aspect, and one really couldn't ask for much more. Where material or installation seems less than fantastic, I find it generally a wise and appropriate engineering choice (for weight, durability and cost balance reasons). I've had no issues with my upholstery cloth.

      Seats are very comfortable. I prefer lumbar at most supportive setting. Bolstering can cause a bit of trouble getting in and out, but during driving seems the perfect balance of support and comfort. The semi-automatic seat adjustment controls of the 4 door models achieve a great balance of weight, durability, simplicity and functionality. The worm gear knob in the 2 door models works well, but the motorized recline is quicker, easier, plenty robust, and welcomed, with vertical and fore/aft adjust being better left to manual adjust.

      HVAC system has proved quite convenient and easy to use. AC seems more than adequate for multiple people in sticky conditions. While some have complained about the climatic hvac system controls (hard to visually assess), specifically the vent control knob, I find it easy enough to use with a little experience, being operable by feel and sight, by both driver and passenger.

      Passenger space is exceptional, especially in the rear. I've been repeatedly impressed, even in comparison to other even larger vehicles. I've had numerous passenger comments reinforcing this. I am 6ft, have no trouble getting 6-footers comfortably in the back seat behind me when driving, and can easily lay my road bicycle in the back with the seats folded down and only front wheel removed. Rear head room is generous. I've slept in the back of my Golf. At 6ft, it's just doable by laying diagonally and having a pillow support lying atop the headrest of the lowered seat back. Not super comfy, but doable - air mattress recommended.

      Wiper system gives a uniform fan-shaped spray pattern and performs very well at all speeds. I have had no significant issue with the infamous rear washer nozzle drip, aside from a small bit of drip if the washer was just used and the car allowed to warm up on a hot day.

      The MFD functions are mostly very simple, intuitive and useful. In some ways it feels underutilized, knowing there could be so many more features that might be adjustable, or data visible. For example, it would be great if there was a screen that would read all critical trip information at once, so that flipping though screens was not necessary - I fear I'll wear out my steering wheel buttons if I want to simply know my average and instantaneous MPG.

      Horn is a little less masculine feeling than my 98 Jetta (which had a pretty burly horn actually), however I think the sound was selected for greater audibility.

      Overall quietness in the cabin is exceptional under all conditions. It would be very hard to gauge your speed by wind noise. Some tire/ground sounds do make it in more than others.

      Little things I like/love: Front door pockets are molded to hold a 1L water bottle securely. Glove box space and layout is good, and the owner-manual holder could have other special uses down the road. I like the design of the sun visors and their extensibility. Central locking system operation is smart. Emergency flasher button location and the way it stays lightly illuminated. Armrest comfort and ratcheting/extension function. Door chime for lights and "key in ignition" times out after a little while, so you dont have to eternally listen to it if you need your door open.

      Little things I don't like: B pillar is a bit wider than the MkIII Jetta I came out of, and I've noticed it's a bit harder to quickly check blind spots when merging. It just takes some adjustment though. Feels like the head restraints block rear vision a tiny bit too, but I havent verified this.


      Exterior Lighting:
      Lighting system is great. AFS Xenons are phenomenal in their overall output, uniformity, color and general road rendition. The dynamic adjustment is noticeable and appreciated, for turning and for dive/squat effects. High beams are impressive, in fact often seeming too bright - the glaring reflections off signs can be an issue. I did compare to the halogen, which are definitely excellent as halogen units go. The cornering lights are always appreciated when making tight turns in poorly lit areas. It literally puts a smile on my face when I look into the dark as I'm about to turn and the dark is illuminated.


      Audio system & Bluetooth:

      RCD510 touch screen radio is overall awesome. I have installed a 320GB hard drive for it already (must be formatted to FAT32) which works very well. Sometimes while driving, you must brace your hand to reliably hit the proper touch screen "button" zone, lest inertia knock your arm and misplace your press. I'm a bit annoyed that the RCD510 has a pause of variable length between compressed format audio tracks, however with the hard drive it's literally about 1/10s or less.

      I opted for Dynaudio sound. Fantastic sound quality - the imaging and clarity have caught me off guard a number of times (self described audiophile). Some small rattles have come about when pushing the system higher under deep bass. These appear to be contained within the doors (which house the speakers) and overall the system is robust and solid/quiet.

      Bluetooth is 9w2 and works reasonably well. Lack of full voice activated (true hands free) operation is rather inexcusable, but it's not much trouble to pick up my phone and speed dial a contact anyway. 9w7 may be a resolution, but perhaps a pricey one, and not without compromise.


      Utility/Cargo:

      Of course, the Golf's utility and cargo flexibility is excellent, and has great passenger space while being able to fit and secure plenty of gear and cargo. The seats dont fold perfectly flat from the factory, but it has not been a problem for me whatsoever. It is supposedly possible to remove the seat cushion with some trouble, if one should ever need a flat cargo area.

      The small molded foam compartments under the floor carpet are perfect for stowing numerous small utility items and such, including extra oil, a 12V air compressor, can of fix-a-flat, etc. It appears clear to me that the boot floor was designed to accomodate a space-saver spare, so the foam molding can be removed and even more overall cargo volume allowed, I imagine.

      I love the mat kit, which comes with velcro-enabled cargo organizing blocks that adhere to the heavy duty trunk mat, allowing tidy and secure cargo locating ability, and adding to the already great cargo securing utility that's built in (grocery bag hooks, cargo netting, under-floor molded foam compartments, integral net underneath boot cover, etc). I do wonder if the mat will be worn down by repeated velcro use.


      Engine and running gear refinement:

      Engine is a tiny bit gruff compared to gassers, and it's no inline 6, but it's quiet and smooth at cruise and idle. Shifting is predictable and consistent, and throws are perfectly acceptable and "wristable" for me. I have not missed a shift yet that I can recall.

      Clutch operation is quite acceptable to me. It may or may not have fast uptake, or an interesting throw, but it is quite drivable with a little practice. I've driven it in all sorts of conditions, including all over San Fransisco. Save extreme inclines, stalling hasnt been much of a problem, although definitely more of a problem than on my 98 TDI.


      Handling / suspension / steering:


      Handling is awesome. Sport suspension is a great balance of comfort and responsiveness. High speed stability and transient response is excellent - sharp, controllable, and very confidence inspiring. I'm sure the GTI trumps it, but it's still quicker than necessary for public roads. Car feels planted to the ground even at speeds around 100mph. Drop is virtually perfect. Seems the 4 door has a slightly lower-sitting rear than the 2 door, and I love the look. Couldn't have made it look better myself.

      I've already had to make an emergency lane change, and did so with aplomb, thanks in part to the ESP (light came on). Not happy about having to do it, but I had no choice, and glad about the performance.

      I find the 17” wheels a nearly perfect balance of handling performance, looks, durability, efficiency and flexibility. Also, the speedometer seems quite accurate with the 225/45R17 tires. The stock Continental A/S tires give good road holding, nearly nonexistent tire squeal, are fairly quiet, and so far feel good in the wet.

      I've had her in light snow and freezing weather. ASR/EDL worked and helped noticeably. No issue with hand brake turns of course.

      All the while, comfort is good, although on some of the harsh, nasty excuse for pavement that I often drive on, the rigid chassis makes for a significant mid-range frequency resonant drone in the cabin, but I can't complain about that - I think it comes with the stiffer chassis, unless a lot of heavy sound insulation is added.

      Mulholland drive was a blast, had no problem outpacing a late model Honda Accord (who was very clearly pushing it).

      Steering feel is quite good IMO. Feedback feels fine to me, and assist is variable effect of course, getting lessened with speed. Only issue I've noticed is a sense of floatiness at speed (like I'm constantly having to consciously make small steering adjustments), but I cannot be sure I'm not just tired.

      I've yet to notice ESP coming on during even aggressive driving. Any intrusion has been transparent.

      Have yet to find the handling limits of the suspension on public roads. Sure, she'll plow if I come into a corner hard on the brakes. Beyond that, turn in is excellent and relatively neutral feeling. I'm blown away by the handling on basic A/S tires and can see how the GTI could be a most excellent handler. Can't wait to get summer tires on her.

      Engine/acceleration/braking performance:

      Engine performance is solid and not lacking except for street racers. I find no problem merging, passing, accelerating to triple digits, or just zipping into holes in traffic, city and highway. Even with several passengers, the hit to acceleration isnt too painful. I've even given a few fast cars a run for their money, or at least inspired them to use their power (911 Porsche and Dodge Magnum).

      Around town, 2nd and 3rd gear give plenty of action, satisfaction and capability, with 3rd handling anything from 15mph-75mph. 4th and 5th handle high speed power needs nicely. 6th gear is an overdrive for fuel economy (~175mph at redline), and a great gearing I think, unless you usually drive on 55mph highways (because rpms fall low enough to make turbo lag a serious concern; ~55mph is this car's sweet spot for fuel economy though).

      Idle speed is ~800rpm, and varies slightly depending on driving/engine conditions; redline of course is 5000rpm but you'll want to shift well before that, say around 4200-4400rpm.

      Top gear acceleration seems remarkable at typical highway speeds, considering the overdrive gearing. At sea level, I can accelerate pretty well up a 12%+ grade in top gear. It is more than enough for leisurely passing, but you'll definitely want to downshift for maximum oomph.

      Turbo lag is definitely a reality that must be considered, but it is generally only significantly noticeable below 1600rpm, and at higher rpms only when shifting. In-gear throttle response above 2500rpm (where you are anyway if you're really needing performance) is rapid enough for all but track competition, in my opinion.

      I think the advertised 0-60mph time of 8.6s doesnt really represent the engine's performance properly. This is because of two factors: 1) there is probably an extra shift compared to gas cars, which adds a fraction of a second, and 2) the torque character of the diesel means that the car out-accelerates the turbo in 1st gear, so you dont ever quite get full "impulse" from about 0-30mph.

      I've noticed that heavy throttle below 1300rpm in high gear gives a bit of engine lugging/shudder, and I avoid it.

      Have not experienced brake fade or problems yet. Havent totally punished them, but have driven aggressively at high speed downhill, with no issues.

      Aero effects really start to be felt in this hatch, as compared to a sedan, around 100mph, where the more dramatic acceleration of the 70-100mph range rapidly starts to fade.

      Oil consumption has been impressive - I was above 2/3 on the dip stick at 10kmi.


      *** See conclusion section below (20k character posting limit) ***
      Last edited by RogueTDI; 04-10-2012 at 03:07 PM.

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    3. Member saucer's Avatar
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      06-17-2010 07:01 PM #2
      Excellent and authentic review. Your enthusiasm reminds me of the first few months in my GTI. I still adore the car and have been a bit hesitant toward trading her in tomorrow, but the more I read about the TDI, the more I realize I will still feel the same way. The only things I'm truly reluctant to part with are the bi-Xenon headlights and sunroof - two options I just haven't been able to find in a local package, and I'm too impatient to order one

      I am looking forward to the RCD-510 and the exceptional fuel economy though. Xenons will probably be installed within a year or so when some cheaper options become available (the VW upgrade kit is $2500!)

      Hopefully we'll be enjoying these diesels for hundreds of thousands of miles!

      oh, and good luck with those countermeasures

    4. Member AlexmkVI's Avatar
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      06-17-2010 07:08 PM #3
      tl;dr version:

    5. Member RogueTDI's Avatar
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      2010 Golf TDI 4DR MT6 SB 1989 AW11 MR2 4AGE 150whp 2250lbs
      06-17-2010 08:12 PM #4
      Because I cannot put more than 200000 characters or whatever, continuation:




      Fueling and Fuel economy:


      Fuel economy potential is quite exceptional. I've pulled over 50mpg on a tank, driving ~750miles before the needle was on empty, by simply driving the predominant speed limit of 65mph. I've just been able to fit 15 gallons into a virtually empty tank. I've already logged 50mpg over 20 miles of suburban driving with stop and go and an average speed of 30mph. At 55mph, mileage in the mid 50s has been confirmed through proper averaging techniques, on a new engine. I keep my tires at about 39-40psi cold. When driving for economy, I shift anywhere from 1500-2000rpm depending on various factors, settling into the tallest gear that will let me cruise with a little acceleration reserve.

      Expect the following MPG vs MPH, from the MT6 at least: 65mph, low 50s; 70mph, high 40s; 75mph, mid 40s; 80mph, low 40s.

      The MFD is generally well within 1mpg of actual economy as measured "at the tank," and has given tank numbers within 1/10 mpg on more than one occasion.

      Mixed totals at each fill up have typically been about 38-43mpg. My driving is mostly suburban to highway, maybe 20-30% city miles, although I've not been babying her. I regularly use the throttle generously, and cruise at high speeds on the highway, but try for economic driving where there is no reason to wind her out, especially around town.

      Fueling is convenient. I've had no issues keeping the cap located on the filler door using the method instructed in the manual. Filling to the top is simple and quick, slowed only by diesel's foaming tendency, but seemingly less so than my older Jetta. The small drain spout does a good job of capturing small amounts of overflow spillage and siphoning and dumping it down into the wheel well. I've noticed a strange tendency for the pump to stop on first pour, even on an empty tank - dont understand this. The filler neck has an artificial nozzle size limiter, although this serves to hold the nozzle more effectively.


      Mechanical Design

      As a mechanical engineer occupied largely with mechanical design, and as someone who has done all work including major maintenance and modifications to my 1998 AHU TDI Jetta, I must say the technical improvements to this vehicle are awesome. In many ways I think the detail design engineering in this vehicle is superior to what BMW is offering in a 3 series.

      I studied the engine and vehicle in depth, including close up inspections and discussions with VW technical reps at auto shows, and am very impressed with the design and serviceability of the vehicle, engine and body.

      Engine wise, oil changes seem like they should be low hassle. The advanced emissions system seems robust enough to me, especially considering its complexity. Intake clogging should be a thing of the past - the intake only sees unfiltered exhaust gas briefly on cold start. I understand there's some sort of centrifugal oil vapor separator incorporated into the PCV system. We'll see how intake dirtying pans out long term. The engine bay is rather tight. Good luck seeing your washer fluid reserve level (not that it matters much I guess). Battery placement is about as far back is feasible in the bay - dont believe this is new to the generation. Timing belt changes happen at 120kmi iirc, and involve a water pump change as well, but the water pump is designed to be easy to change. Valve timing adjustments appear to be more easily handled with an adjustable cam plate. Of course, full electronic control of injection thanks to common rail system gets rid of a major timing worry. Glow plugs seem very accessible.

      Electric power steering is a blessing, aiding fuel economy, and getting rid of one more accessory drive and fluid system, not to mention weight. It's also electronically adjustable iirc.

      Body wise, I'm delighted by the little touches and quality improvements. Door seal design means amongst other things a quieter cabin, and cleaner door sills. Door strap design and operation is robust, smooth, low maintenance, and holds the door perfectly. Finally, a hood strut (ok, this has been around since MkIV I think, but hey, it's new to me )! Body panel fitment is overall excellent, and doors fully latch and engage with little force, yet are very solid. Exterior is clean and not busy, making washing and waxing quick and easy.



      Mods, Planned and Performed:


      Wonderfully, I plan minimal mods as I'm very happy with the car from the factory. Keep in mind, I very much prefer my vehicles tuned for street performance.

      Heat rejecting window tint all around
      Probably will disable DRLs
      Euro non-auto headlight switch; not sure about rear fogs (will run fogs and markers manually during conditions calling for DRL)
      18" summer wheels/tires at some point
      Rewire 12V sockets for constant on operation
      Have already purchased an inverter to run 115VAC items off the 12V system (not really a mod as I just plug this into a 12V socket, but I could do a more permanent install)
      Hopefully figure out how to get radio to stay on when engine is turned off
      Custom countermeasures installation.
      Hopefully a chip tune at some point if it's safe - 20hp more would be just about perfect.


      Commonly reported problems that I have not encountered:

      All doors aligned well
      Window trim was fine except for minor adjustment needed on driver side rear window rear frame trim
      Rear hatch was misaligned maybe .050 inch vertically at most, but symmetrically (I'm content).
      No sign of any fuel system problems as of yet.
      No sign of weather strip problems, moisture leaks from rain or washing, or infamous B-pillar wind noise. I do have some B pillar creaking when it's warm out.
      No meaningful problems with the rear washer nozzle, although in certain uncommon circumstances it will in fact release liquid in an uncontrolled way, usually just after recent use.




      Engine & Mechanical Problems Encountered:

      Check engine light around 2500miles, promptly addressed by dealer with an O2 sensor replacement and ECU reflash. No problems since. TPMS light around 4000 miles, required a recalibration of the system to the latest factory setting, no problems since. Both were known problems, although I dont understand why/how "known problems" are making it into cars not 2 months old.

      I've noticed the “3rd gear hesitation” on more than one occasion, and outside of 3rd gear. It is momentary, hasnt caused any driving problems, but is annoying and a slight cause for concern.

      I would echo a sentiment I heard from someone else some time ago here - the engine does seem a bit more gruff now than it did when new. Hard to say of course, and I took no measurements, but it is still quite comfortable.

      Body panel and exterior problems encountered:

      The exterior was largely in excellent condition. I found one minor paint scratch which was limited to the clear coat, a result of a sand grain being drawn across the rear wheel fender arch edge. There are few dirt inclusions in the paint, but it really took me a while to notice them under close inspections (i.e. after washing).

      I noticed my hood was shifted slighted to the passenger side, with the gap to the driver side fender being slightly larger. I consider this trivial.


      Minor quirks, annoyances, issues:


      A few rattles have been noticed; all are reproducably intermittent and virtually all are induced by road conditions. A couple are induced by loud music. Most seem reasonably easy to isolate and fix, as I plan to do at some later time once they've all settled in.

      -right door trim

      -small rattle ahead of steering wheel inside dash, occurs rarely on certain rough roads


      Annoyances:

      -12V sockets wont operate with ignition off.

      -Radio switches off with ignition, rather than with key removal as in earlier generations.

      -Radio has a brief pause between compressed-format audio tracks

      -122mph electronic speed limitation

      -child seat anchors affixed to back of rear seats can interfere with cargo loads at times

      -lack of fold away cargo loops in the cargo area, like the GTI, feels like an obvious oversight

      -hatch has somewhat sharp corners that when raised can pose a small safety hazard

      -key may somewhat interfere with knee when in driving position

      Misc Issues:

      -Minor issue with rear washer drippage, related mostly apparently to large temperature changes.

      -The fuel cap stowage during refueling works fine, but it can be temperamental. Fuel neck has artificial limiter in it to accept only small diameter nozzles.

      -Body panel alignment not perfect, but barely noticabe (hood and hatch alignment).

      -The instrument cluster's plastic lens is angled upward for glare reduction, causing it to accumulate dust rather quickly. Being prone to scratching, in a place you dont want scratches, this is less than great.


      Conclusion:

      The car is simply brilliant and incredible. I feel incredibly blessed and thankful to have it, especially having been able to order it to specification. I've literally had numerous jealous nightmares already about damage to it, theft, and other unfortunate events. A nearly perfect blend of economy, sport, practicality, handsome good looks, daily livability, and unclassifiable class. For anyone looking for a perfect all-rounder on the smaller side, you'd be a fool to not seriously consider this vehicle.
      Last edited by RogueTDI; 07-07-2010 at 01:10 PM.

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      06-17-2010 08:42 PM #5
      Audio system:
      RCD510 touch screen radio is overall awesome. I have installed a 320GB hard drive for it already (must be formatted to FAT32) which works very well. Sometimes while driving, you must brace your hand to reliably hit the proper touch screen "button" zone, lest inertia knock your arm and misplace your press.


      Nice write up, especially since I have the same car! How did you replace the hard drive, and which one did you use?

    7. Member RogueTDI's Avatar
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      06-17-2010 08:59 PM #6
      Well, the hard drive was purely an addition, as I have the RCD510. It's a 320GB Western Digital Passport Essential external portable drive (USB interface). It runs purely off the USB power from the MDI, and sits nice and snug in the center console with room to drop the cable down. Seagate's comparable portable drive, Free Agent Go, also is known to work well.

      Generally, the drive takes a few seconds to come up at vehicle start, but the radio remembers where the playback left off, and usually playback resumes very quickly if you were just recently using the system.

      EDIT: Just revised this (June 21 2010) because it was so poorly worded!
      Last edited by RogueTDI; 06-21-2010 at 06:59 PM.

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      06-17-2010 10:05 PM #7
      I wonder if you have a automatic transmission or a Standard? Maybe I missed that in your review.

    9. Member lilredjettawagon's Avatar
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      06-17-2010 10:18 PM #8
      Being owner of a Mk VI TDI for the last 3 days, I cannot imagine driving a nicer car. Enjoyed reading your review. And hopefully, our experience after two months will be equally rewarding.

      Happy Motoring!!

    10. Member RogueTDI's Avatar
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      06-17-2010 10:21 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by ilovesandiego View Post
      I wonder if you have a automatic transmission or a Standard? Maybe I missed that in your review.
      Amended the review. It's MT6. I'm sure there are a number of oversights that I'll end up fixing over the next few days.

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      06-17-2010 11:24 PM #10
      great review. love mine too

    12. Junior Member
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      06-17-2010 11:32 PM #11
      Wow, great review! It nearly sells me on a TDI. I'll probably be getting a GTI though.

    13. Member crunchytheory's Avatar
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      06-18-2010 11:58 AM #12
      Great review, Rogue! Your thoughts and experience pretty much mirror my own (especially since we got our cars at practically the same time). I'd be very interested to know how you get your 12V outputs constantly on, so be sure to post that when the time comes!

    14. 06-18-2010 12:09 PM #13
      After the disappointment that is the MkVI Jetta's interior (at least at this point), this post has made me consider the Golf. Was definitely not on my buying radar prior to this week.

      Thanks for the great write-up!

    15. Member goldn's Avatar
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      06-18-2010 02:01 PM #14
      very impressive post.
      thank you for adding a mature review while remembering the car is simply a utility vehicle, not a low pavement eater.

    16. Member
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      06-18-2010 05:14 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by chuck232 View Post
      After the disappointment that is the MkVI Jetta's interior (at least at this point), this post has made me consider the Golf. Was definitely not on my buying radar prior to this week.

      Thanks for the great write-up!
      after being an owner of two previous Jettas (mkv, mkvi) looks like i will be considering Golf for the first time for the exact same reasons. i really like the current Golf TDI setup but would really like a real leather option.

    17. Senior Member feels_road's Avatar
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      06-18-2010 06:26 PM #16
      Nice review - now I don't have to write one!

      I agree pretty much with everything you wrote - especially the handling part. People will be surprised how well this car handles, and how well it does in the hills and mountains. Very substantial; anyone not sure about the Jetta should definitely take a look at this car.

      I don't have any rattles or other problems at this point except for the water accumulation in the driver's door (seems that the lower door seals are simply too tight).

    18. Member RogueTDI's Avatar
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      06-19-2010 03:28 AM #17
      Hehe. Yeah, I dont blame you either! It was a fair bit of trouble to bother to put together a worthwhile and reasonably competent review. Better that I got around to it after some weeks though, than rush it after only a few weeks weeks of ownership experience.

      Thanks everyone for the positive comments - I appreciate them, and I'm glad if I help inform people and maybe help them make a decision.

      Just made a bunch of revisions.

    19. Member saucer's Avatar
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      06-19-2010 01:16 PM #18
      Just picked mine up yesterday and it has surpassed my expectations!

      Some little things I wasn't expecting that really made my day:

      -noticeably better sound system than the MKV GTI (regarding base packages)
      -two included cargo mats for the hatch
      -ability to display speed in the MFD (I actually audibly shouted YES when I fell upon this option while driving home)
      -poppable gas door (I've never like interior levers)

      As this is my first diesel, I was a bit concerned about the gruff engine mentioned above, but I adore the sound. It's definitely grumbly on the interior (I actually popped the hood to check for a noise pipe first thing when I got home) but I can easily live with it and have been having a hard time keeping the RPMs down just to hear her growl.

      My only initial complaints regard the lack of leather/leatherette on the interior. I would have loved a smoother and more durable surface on the center console lid and the door arm rests, but a good upholstery shop can take of this for me in the future...

      I think an indirect perk I'll greatly enjoy about the TDI is the fact that they are so damn rare. I like driving unique cars. And living in a southern liberal haven filled with Prius's and the like, it's good to know I get great fuel economy and a sporty package to boot. Suck it Toyota!

    20. Member tagsvags's Avatar
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      06-19-2010 01:25 PM #19
      Rogue thanks for the review, very informative. Will hate to see my MK5 go but now I know that there is a MK6 Golf in my future. I will be getting a two door in Reflex silver but I do like the blue also. How about some more photos?
      VW and AUDI love tuned cars and the Vortex

    21. Member
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      06-19-2010 02:46 PM #20
      Excellent review. This has me looking forward to testing the Golf TDI when I go car shopping.

    22. Member Arne's Avatar
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      06-19-2010 03:17 PM #21
      I pick mine up in a couple of days - United gray 2 door, MT6, sunroof & xenon. Decided on the TDI for pretty much exactly the reasons posted in the review above. I obviously don't have much seat time in one yet, but the overall package appears to be pretty much the perfect answer for our needs and wants in a car.

      We've owned a lot of VWs over the past 30 years - two 1st gen Sciroccos (one for 10 years), an A2 GTI 8v, a Corrado G60, and an A2 GLI 16v (19 years and still counting). We're looking forward to many good years with this TDI as well.

    23. Member sportriderseattle's Avatar
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      06-20-2010 12:28 AM #22
      I thought I was reading Car & Driver! nice job and very articulate.

      Shark Blue is the color of the future! (actually I really hope they discontinue it....for the sake of rarity! hehe)
      2010 TDI Golf 2dr., 6-speed manual, Shark-Blue, 35% tint and Votex Sport Styling Kit

    24. Semi-n00b
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      06-20-2010 09:34 AM #23
      What is the average wait time to get a allocation?

    25. Senior Member feels_road's Avatar
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      06-21-2010 07:32 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by tbone4030 View Post
      What is the average wait time to get a allocation?
      There really is no such (temporal or regional) average. A typical wait time was 2-3 months for an allocation late last year, but then ordering became virtually impossible in high-demand areas like much of the west coast --- while other regions had both stock and some reasonable allocation. With the 2011, it is anyone's guess - but typically, Germany-produced vehicles (versus Mexico) make no or little money to VW, so they tend to severely limit access.

      If in doubt, ask your dealer(s) or ask in the Salesperson thread.


      See also this thread.
      Last edited by feels_road; 06-22-2010 at 01:17 AM.

    26. Member quailallstar's Avatar
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      06-21-2010 07:55 AM #25
      Rogue - As always, this is a GREAT and non-bias review. Much appreciated and just re-confirms why I'm getting a TDI Golf.

      Side note: Did you ever get s chance to drive an Audi A3 TDI before making the purchase of your Golf TDI? Just curious.....
      2Ø16 Golf 7 Variant Highline R-Line Pure-Weiß 1,8t FSI « 2Ø11 Golf 6 2,0 6-Gang DPF 2,0 TDI BLUEMOTION Technologies™ Highline Candy-Weiß 5-Türen« Ø8 Golf 5 .:R32 Deep Blau Perleffekt 3,2 VR6 DSG 4-MOTION™ 3-Türen « Ø6 Golf 5 GTI 2,0 FSI DSG Tornadorot 3-Türen « Ø2 Indigo Blau Perleffekt Passat 3BG Trendline 1,8T 4-Türen. I Euro-spec OEM Mods

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